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THE    ART    OF    L I V I X G                        307

In China, man knows a great deal about the art of all arts,
viz., the art of living. A younger civilization may be keen on
making progress, but an old civilization, having seen naturally
a great deal of life, is keen only on living. In the case of China,
with the spirit of humanism, which makes man the centre of all
things and human happiness the end of all knowledge, this
emphasis on the art of living is all the more natural. But even
without humanism, an old civilization must have a different
standard of values, for it alone kno\vs "the durable pleasures
of life," which are merely matters of the senses, food, drink,
house, garden, women, and friendship. That is wThat life comes
to in its essence. That is why in old cities like Paris and Vienna
we have good chefe, good wine, beautiful women and beautiful
music. After a certain point human intelligence struck a blind
alley, and, tired of asking questions, took again the vine for its
spouse in the Khayyam manner. Any nation, therefore,
that does not know how to eat and enjoy living like the Chinese
is uncouth and uncivilized in our eyes.

In the works of Li Liweng (seventeenth century), there is an
important section devoted to the pleasures of life, which is a
vade-mecum of the Chinese art of living, from the house and
garden, interior decorations, partitions, to women's toilet,
coiffures, the art of applying powder and rouge, on to the art
of cooking and directions for the gourmet, and finally to the ways
of securing pleasure for the rich man and the poor man, and
in all the four seasons, the methods of banning worry, regulating
sex-life, preventing and curing illness, ending in the unique
division of medicine into the very sensible three categories;
"medicine that one likes by temperament," "medicine that is
needed by the moment," and "medicine that one loves and
longs for.5* This chapter alone contains more wisdom regarding
medical advice than a whole college course of medicine. This
epicure dramatist, for he was a great comic poet, spoke of what
he knew. Some instances of his thorough understanding of the
art of living are given here, as showing the essential Chinese
spirit,

Thus Li Liweng wrote about "Willows" in his intensely
human study of different flowers and trees and the art of
enjoying them: